Cody Zeller Archive

Q & A: Cody Zeller talks rookie season in NBA

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Cody Zeller was a program-changing recruit for Indiana.

In his two seasons in Bloomington, the All-American forward led the Hoosiers to 56 wins and an outright Big Ten championship before entering the 2013 NBA Draft, where he was the No. 4 overall pick by the Charlotte Bobcats.

Inside the Hall had the opportunity recently to talk at length with Zeller on Tuesday about his rookie season and about his time at Indiana. In part two of a two-part series that has appeared this week on the site, Zeller reflects on his rookie season with the Bobcats (click here to read part one of our Q & A with Zeller):

Inside the Hall: You’re almost three-quarters of the way done with your rookie season right now. How has the adjustment been?

Cody Zeller: It’s a tough process going from college to the NBA. The game is so much different, both on and off the court it’s a big adjustment but I feel like I’ve made the adjustment pretty well. It’s definitely been a fun year for me.

ITH: What’s the adjustment like to the NBA? What’s so different about it?

CZ: I think there’s so much that’s different really both on and off the court. On the court, you’re playing against grown men every night. The style of play is a lot different than college. I think the biggest difference is just that night in and night out you’re playing against the best players in the world. And you know, in college, maybe you have a few good games each year, a couple tough matchups but in this league it’s the best players in the world every night. There’s no easy games. There’s no non-conference games, none of that. We just played San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Miami and we’ve got the Pacers tomorrow (Editor’s note: Zeller scored 11 points in a 109-87 win over the Pacers on Wednesday). So it’s kind of just how this league goes. There’s no time to catch your breath or get a rhythm. That’s the biggest difference.

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Q & A: Cody Zeller reflects on IU career, talks 2013-2014 Hoosiers

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Cody Zeller was a program-changing recruit for Indiana.

In his two seasons in Bloomington, the All-American forward led the Hoosiers to 56 wins and an outright Big Ten championship before entering the 2013 NBA Draft, where he was the No. 4 overall pick by the Charlotte Bobcats.

Inside the Hall had the opportunity recently to talk at length with Zeller about his rookie season and about his time at Indiana. In part one of a two-part series that will appear this week on the site, Zeller reflects back on his collegiate career as a Hoosier:

Inside the Hall: Going back to your time at IU, what would you say was your favorite memory from your time as a Hoosier both on and off the court?

Cody Zeller: Wow, that’s a tough one. I can’t think of one. I definitely miss playing in Assembly Hall in front of the Hoosier fans. It was always so loud every game. It’s so easy to play hard just because you’ve got so much adrenaline and you kind of feed off the crowd. So I definitely miss playing at Assembly Hall. The campus was always fun off the court. There was always something to do and a lot of people hang out with. There was always something going on so I do miss the college campus a lot.

ITH: How much do you keep in touch with your former IU teammates these days?

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Another look at members of IU’s 2012-2013 Big Ten championship team in the pros

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(Photo credit: Sportowefakty.pl)

Periodically throughout the season, we’ll take a look at how members of IU’s 2012-2013 Big Ten championship team are performing in both the NBA and professional leagues around the world. Here’s our latest update:

· Victor Oladipo, Orlando Magic
Stats: 13.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.6 steals in 31.5 minutes per game

Notes: Oladipo participated in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge last Friday at NBA All-Star weekend and finished with 13 points, five rebounds and five assists for Team Webber, which fell to Team Hill, 142-136. The former IU star remains in the hunt for the league’s rookie of the year award with Philadelphia’s Michael Carter-Williams, the current front runner, and Utah’s Trey Burke. He has struggled, however, coming out of the All-Star break with just a total of 10 points in losses to Cleveland and Milwaukee.

Notable recent performance: 23 points, four rebounds and four assists in a 93-92 win over Indiana on Feb. 9.

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An updated look at members of IU’s 2012-2013 Big Ten championship team in the pros

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Periodically throughout the season, we’ll take a look at how members of IU’s 2012-2013 Big Ten championship team are performing in both the NBA and professional leagues around the world. Here’s our latest update:

· Victor Oladipo, Orlando Magic
Stats: 13.7 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.5 steals in 31.8 minutes per game

Notes: Oladipo currently sits at No. 2 on NBA.com’s “Rookie Ladder” rankings, just behind Philadelphia guard Michael Carter-Williams. His minutes and scoring are up since our last update and it currently appears to be a three-man race for Rookie of the Year with Oladipo, Carter-Williams and Utah’s Trey Burke as the contenders.

Notable recent performance: 35 points, eight assists and four rebounds in a 128-125 triple overtime loss to Chicago on Jan. 15. Oladipo played 57 minutes.

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A look at how members of IU’s 2012-2013 Big Ten championship team are performing in the pros

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Periodically throughout the season, we’ll take a look at how members of IU’s 2012-2013 Big Ten championship team are performing in both the NBA and professional leagues around the world. Here’s our first update:

· Victor Oladipo, Orlando Magic
Stats: 13.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.5 steals in 30.2 minutes per game

Notes: Oladipo’s most recent effort was a strong one as he scored 22 points and added eight rebounds and five assists in a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. The former IU All-American has started 16 of Orlando’s 34 games, but has struggled at times with turnovers. That said, he was named the Eastern Conference rookie of the month for December and is a major piece of the ongoing rebuilding effort for the Magic.

Best game: 26 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a 126-125 double overtime loss at Philadelphia on Dec. 3. Oladipo played 52 minutes.

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Oladipo, Zeller navigating different paths in rookie seasons

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A quarter of the way through their first NBA seasons, Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo have been thrust into very different roles.

In Orlando, the Magic, in the midst of a major rebuilding effort, are taking their lumps on their way to a 7-15 start. Oladipo was inserted into the team’s starting lineup after 10 games and he’s averaging 13.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.7 steals in 31 minutes per game.

In Charlotte, which signed free agent Al Jefferson in the offseason and currently sits in fifth place in a very weak Eastern conference outside of Indiana and Miami, the Bobcats are taking a more conservative approach with Zeller. The 7-footer is Charlotte’s first big man off the bench and is averaging 5.3 points and 4.2 rebounds in 17.8 minutes per game behind veteran Josh McRoberts.

Given the very different paths the former Hoosier teammates took to make it into last June’s NBA draft lottery, it’s only fitting that each is taking a different path to becoming established in the league.

On Wednesday night, the two squared off for the first time as professionals with Oladipo’s Magic claiming a 92-83 victory in Charlotte.

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The Inside the Hall Mailbag: November 7

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The Inside the Hall Mailbag is a collection of questions tweeted to us via Twitter (@insidethehall), submitted on our premium forum and sent to us via our Facebook page. Submit your questions and we’ll answer as many as we can.

mcoghlan writes: Outside of free throws, Noah (Vonleh) has looked very impressive and seems to have a lot of potential. Do you see him eventually becoming a better player than Cody (Zeller)?

If we’re talking eventually as in one day down the line in the NBA, I’ll say maybe. If we’re talking eventually as in while at Indiana, I’ll say no. And that’s no knock on Noah Vonleh. I think he has a chance to be an outstanding player.

But Cody Zeller was just the No. 4 pick in the NBA Draft and deserves a ton of credit for Indiana winning 56 games over the past two seasons. He was the best running big man in college basketball and arguably the most efficient big last season. It’s no coincidence that Indiana went from 12 wins in 2010-2011 to 27 in 2011-2012. Zeller was not only excellent himself, he made others around him better. There’s no doubt Vonleh will be very good with a chance to be great, but Zeller has already done it so I’ll stick with him until proven otherwise. — Alex Bozich

kleeman20 writes: I guess I’m one of the few who hasn’t noticed the big improvements from (Jeremy) Hollowell and (Hanner) Perea that were touted all off season. I know it was just two exhibitions, but if those two aren’t major factors, aren’t we at best an NIT team?

Even though you haven’t seen the improvements from both Hollowell and Perea yet, they definitely have both improved over the offseason. And I think that improvement could even mean they are both much more comfortable on the court than they were in their freshman seasons.

If, for some reason, neither of them can contribute on the court, I think this team can survive. That said, the depth and experience — in both the backcourt and frontcourt — would be severely impacted, and I wouldn’t expect them to make the NCAA tournament and think the NIT would certainly be a more realistic option. That said, I see both Hollowell and Perea making contributions to this team and think that an NCAA tournament berth is certainly within reach this season.  — Jordan Littman

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